Bear Cub Corner

October 1, 2012

Emily Sharp Billingslea, BA '02, BSN '09, and Blake Billingslea, of Rockwall, Texas, welcomed Elizabeth Ruth Billingslea on Nov. 30, 2011. She was 6 lbs., 10 oz., and 20 in. She comes from a long line of Baylor Bears, including her late grandfather, Thomas Clinton Sharp III, BBA '66, grandmother Janet Lilja Woods, BS '78, uncle Clint Sharp, BBA '02, great-aunt Betsy Sharp Robinson, BA '71, great-uncle C. Clifton Robinson, BBA '63, great-aunt Peggy Lilja Cameron, BA '82, as well as numerous other extended family members.

William Brannan, BBA '09, and Jessica Henson Brannan, BA '09, welcomed their first bear cub, Wyatt Mason Brannan (7 lbs., 11 oz., 20.5 in.), on June 21. "Such a wonderful gift to cap off the ever-so-wonderful Year of the Bear! We are so blessed!" writes Jessica.

John Busselmaier, BA '99, and his wife, Candace Cahill Busselmaier, '99, welcomed the arrival of their son and daughter, Andrew William and Liesl Theresa, on April 4. Big brother Robbie is thrilled to have two new playmates. The family resides in Denver. Contact at jrbusselmaier@

Former Lady Bear basketball player Jessika Stratton Caldwell, BA '04, and husband Tony Caldwell, of Littleton, Colo., welcomed their first child, Emersyn Grace Caldwell, on Feb. 26, 2011. "One week after she was born, Emmy was at her first Lady Bears game in Boulder, and a year later, she was at the Pepsi Center to cheer on during the Lady Bears' national championship game!" writes Jessika.

Brittany Dunegan Choi, BSN '10, and husband Chuck, of Sachse, Texas, welcomed their son, Charles Riley Choi, on March 21. He was 6 lbs., 14 oz., and 20 in. "He's our Charlie Bear!" writes Brittany.

Sean Chu, BSECE '04, is now working in Taiwan and married to his wife, Evie. They recently welcomed a daughter, Jacqueline Quinn Chu. "Hope all bears are doing well. One day a Texan, forever a Texan! Sic 'em BEARS!" writes Sean. Contact at #16, 2F, 4 Aly. 821 Ln., Taipei, Taiwan 10464 or

Mike, BM '96, and Sharon, BA '95, Cunningham adopted Wei Cunningham from Taiwan in July. They live in the Nashville, Tenn., area, where Mike is in the ministry and Sharon is now a homemaker. They look forward to introducing Wei to the Baylor family very soon. Contact at michael.

Baylie Bethany DeJean, BBA '05, and husband Brad DeJean, BBA '02, of Dallas, welcomed their first child, Charles Bridge DeJean, on Dec. 3, 2011. He weighed 7 lbs., 4 oz. "Bridge watched his first Baylor football game the day he was born when RG3 and the Baylor Bears beat Texas! He aspires to be a third-generation Baylor Bear!" writes Baylie.

Carrie Wade Fowler, BBA '04, and husband Jeff Fowler, of Trophy Club, Texas, welcomed their first child, Emma Kate Fowler, on Feb. 21.

Ryan Frazier, BBA '05, and wife Melanie Simpson Frazier, BBA '06, welcomed their first future Bear, Rowan Noble Frazier, on Jan. 18 in Richardson, Texas. "Rowan cannot wait for his first football season to cheer on the Bears towards another great season! Sic 'em!" writes Melanie.

Samuel Sebastion Guzman Garcia was born Sept. 21, 2011. He was 6 lbs., 4.8 oz. "He is now growing like a bear!" writes his mother, Saralinda Garcia, BSN '10, of Chula Vista, Calif. Contact at

LeAnn Gardner, MSW/MDiv '03, an adjunct social work faculty member, and husband Andrew Wertz welcomed their first child, Ellis Grover Gardner Wertz, on Dec. 1, 2011. He was 8 lbs., 8 oz., and was born in Charleston, S.C. "He spent one of his evenings in the hospital watching a Baylor football game. Sic 'em, Bears!" writes LeAnn.

Penni Koonce Gilliland, BBA '01, and husband Charles Gilliland, of Liberty, Texas, welcomed their first child, Mazie Kate Gilliland, on May 8. "Mazie cannot wait to visit her uncle, Conner Gilliland, a current Baylor Bear!" writes Penni.

Karol Anne Kemp Glasson, BA '06, and husband Jason Glasson, of Beaumont, Texas, welcomed their first child, Annemarie Grace Glasson, on June 2, 2011. She was 6 lbs., 9 oz., and 19.5 in. Karol Anne writes, "Although my husband graduated from Texas A&M, I am already encouraging her to follow her Baylor roots to Waco one day! Hopefully I can convince her to choose the Bears over the Aggies!"

Casey Turner Helmick, BS '02, and husband Gary, of Haslet, Texas, are excited to announce the birth of their first child, Aiden Neil Helmick, born April 20. Aiden is the grandson of Jeffrey Neil Turner, BS '77, EdD '95, and Libby Allred Turner, BS '77, and nephew of Haley Turner, BS '06, JD '09. "Aiden is excited to cheer on the Bears this season!" writes Casey.

Syed Hasan Jaffery, BBA '04, and wife Shama, of Houston, welcomed their daughter, Zainah Fatima Jaffery, on July 11. "She's already doing the sic 'em," writes Syed. Contact at

Amy Thompson Knueppel, BA '97, of Zionsville, Ill., writes, "My husband, Daniel, and I welcomed Wesley William Knueppel into the world on June 13. He was 6 lbs., 6 oz., and 18.5 in. He surprised us by coming three weeks and one day early! Big sister Vivian is in love with her little brother."

David Mercer, BBA '04, and Kaitlyn Black Mercer, BSEd '07, of Waco, welcomed the arrival of their little girl, Hadley Grace Mercer, on April 3. She measured 8 lbs., 3 oz., and 19.75 in. "She arrived in time to help cheer on her favorite Lady Bears to their national championship! We feel so blessed to be her parents and look forward to bringing her to many Baylor events in the future!" writes Kaitlyn.

Chad Rainey, BS '05, and wife Tara, of Richardson, Texas, welcomed their first son, Grayson Robert Rainey, on Feb. 28. He measured 7 lbs., 5 oz., and 20.5 in. "He already loves wearing green and gold," writes Chad.

Caroline McCormack Reed, BSFCS '05, of Pearland, Texas, writes, "This is a picture of our sweet baby girl, Etta Abigail Reed, born Sept. 14, 2011. Etta, dressed in green and gold, watched the entire Alamo Bowl as our Baylor Bears beat her daddy's Washington Huskies." Reed is a regional vice president with Arbonne International, and her husband, Kevin, is a high school English teacher and basketball coach. Contact at

George Seeger, BBA '87, and Amy Hoekstra Seeger, BA '91, EMBA '96, welcomed their fourth child, Sophia Kathryn Seeger on Nov. 29, 2011, in Waco. Sophie's older siblings, Anna Joy (13), Grant Edmond (11) and Steven Graham (7) have loved watching the Baylor football and basketball successes of recent years, and Sophie just adds to their growing family of BU fans! Contact at aseeger@

Brady Sherard, BSEd '98, and wife Erin welcomed their first child, Nixin Baylor Sherard, on April 21 in Fullerton, Calif. Nixin was 8 lbs., 11 oz., and 21 in.

Marc Smith, BBA '06, and Reci Lovas Smith, BA '07, of Chandler, Ariz., welcomed two more "future Bears" into their family, McKenzie and McKinley, on Sept. 8, 2011. "We now have three future Baylor girls, including Shiloh (3)!" writes Reci.

Trent Thompson, BBA '96, and his wife, Teri, welcomed their second child, Grant William Thompson, on May 9. He joins big sister Emma Catherine Thompson, age 2. They reside in Bloomington, Ill.

Jamie Mills Thorne, BSEd '01, and Curtis Thorne, BS '00, of Dallas, welcomed their second child, Charlotte Rose Thorne, on April 10. She was 8 lbs., 1 oz., and 20.75 in.

Keeley Harper Watson was born Jan. 26 to Shannon Weppler Watson, BBA/MAcc '04, and Travis Watson, BFA '03, of Dallas.

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